Reflecting on a “bad” winter … what do we mean? The UK winter which is nearing its end has been miserably wet though not very cold. This is an unpleasant combination for farmers and for sheep.
When the weather is wet, it’s more difficult to move around the fields, there’s mud in gateways and “poaching” of muddy damaged grass extends many yards into the fields themselves from each gate. And then if it has been windy, the gutters that feed the rainwater tanks may be damaged, causing leaks and more mud at a time when getting a ladder out to do repairs is unusually difficult.
Johne’s disease (JD) is a relatively unknown disease which affects sheep, goats, cattle and even camelids throughout the world and is endemic in most European countries. It is widespread throughout the UK and becoming a key issue affecting the UK sheep industry today.
The Castlemilk Moorit has an interesting history. While some sheep breeds have been around for centuries or have been developed for better meat or fleeces, this breed’s purpose was primarily aesthetic.
It is that time of year again, when our woolly friends are looking decidedly shaggy and a little bit warm. Many people have already sheared, especially if they are intending to show their animals, however those who don’t have shelter, or don’t intend to show are still planning ahead. We often get asked the best way to handle fleeces destined for the mill at shearing time, so we’ve put together our top tips which should help you out in the shearing shed.
I spent the day on Wednesday and again on Saturday in the Shearing Shed at the Bath & West Show, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.